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Your guide to an accident abroad

Skiing accident

Making a claim if you suffer an injury on a package holiday abroad?

Holiday accidents can take place anywhere at any time - on an airplane, both inside and outside a hotel, on boats or cruises, travelling in motor vehicles, on the ski slopes or on the beach. But who is responsible if you suffer an injury, which is not your fault while on holiday abroad?

Recovering financial compensation for an accident while on holiday in a foreign country requires specialist legal representation from those who understand the complexities of this type of case. Your Legal Friend has years of invaluable experience in helping British holidaymakers injured abroad to successfully secure damages for their personal injury claims.

Did you know...?

  • The incidence of British holidaymakers travelling abroad has risen by 5 per cent over the last twelve months (Office Of National Statistics 2014) to an estimated 50 million visits (Association of British Travel Agents).
  • The risk of falling victim to an accident abroad has risen too – by around 10 per cent in the popular holiday destinations of Spain and Greece (British Foreign and Commonwealth Office).
  • Between April 2011 and April 2012, more than 3,700 British tourists were involved in accidents abroad, which required hospital treatment for serious, life threatening injuries.

Accidents on a package holiday..

Around half of all visits abroad are booked on a package deal. If you suffer an injury during your package holiday, certain criteria must be in place to ensure that you have the right to make a claim. For your package organiser to be held responsible, your accident needs to have taken place either:

  • At your hotel complex or on an excursion, or
  • During a holiday service provided as part of your package.

The safety of customers should always be the number one concern for holiday providers. Holiday tour operators have a ‘duty of care’ to provide a safe environment in the hotel and when you travel to and from the airport.

Your organiser will usually be held responsible for your accident:

  • If it is proven that they or their representative at the hotel were negligent. This means if your hotel or accommodation was badly maintained or dangerous or you weren’t warned in advance about possible accident risks.

Your package holiday organiser is unlikely to be held responsible:

  • If you tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre.
  • If an accident occurred away from your hotel - unless it was during an excursion you bought in the UK as part of your package.
  • If an accident was your fault, i.e. you broke the safety rules while using the hotel pool.

Is your holiday protected under the Package Travel Regulations?

Doing your homework before hand is always crucial. You may not be able to make a claim for an accident, which occurred on holiday if the package you book does not fall within the meaning of the Package Travel Regulations.

Regulation 2(1) of the Package Travel Regulations states that a package provides for the pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following components:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services not additional to transport or accommodation, and accounts for a significant proportion of the package

A “package” holiday can be booked where the accommodation and the flights are supplied by two different suppliers, but are presented by an agent or third party in a combined service offering.

Despite being sold as a package holiday it should be made quite clear to you that there are two separate contracts - one with the airline and one with the accommodation provider. It’s important to watch out for phrases used, such as 'dynamic packaging', 'tailor-made holiday' or 'flight plus hotel deal' as these types of holidays may not be packages – so always check with the provider.

If in doubt, seek advice

Things aren’t always clear when it comes to working out whether or not you have a claim to pursue. It’s always good to get advice from those who have specialist knowledge of what makes a claim and how best to take it forward.

Your Legal Friend has specialist solicitors in place who have spent years dealing with cases involving accidents abroad and can quickly help you to establish if you have a claim to pursue.